Sunday, May 17, 2015

#PSUAgEd2Miss: Day 5 - Delta Dawn: Exploring Agrarian Roots

Editor's note: This is a continuing series on our third annual Teach Ag! Society Domestic Study Away to Mississippi to help with financial literacy and supervised agricultural experience. 

Day 5 - As our trip nears its end, our focus shifted from school based agriculture education to the unique industries in Mississippi. On Saturday, we had the chance to visit and engage with many people involved in these numerous industries all across the state!

We began our day at CHS, INC. in Greenville, Mississippi.  CHS is a farmer owned cooperative working to help America’s farmers be more successful by supplying them with fertilizers. At this facility in Greenwood, fertilizers are brought in and shipped out on barges, trains, and trucks. We had the opportunity to talk to manager Chad Henson about the company and its role in agricultural productions. CHS was a generous financial supporter of this trip and other experiences, so it was great to see what their company does!


Our day continued at Delta Research and Extension Center(DREC) where we had the opportunity to learn more about Mississippi agriculture, specifically rice production. We learned about rice management and even had the opportunity to visit rice fields. While visiting DREC, we engaged with Farm Bureau experts, and DREC employees. This experience expanded our knowledge on crops grown in the Mississippi Delta.



Another unique (to us!) crop grown and produced in Mississippi is cotton. Saturday afternoon,  we had the chance to visit Staplcotn. Staplecotn is a cooperative offering cost effective marketing, warehousing, and financing for cotton producers in many southeastern states. We had the opportunity to visit with Russell Robertson who was the representative for Human Resources. Mr. Robertson informed us on cotton production and how Staplcotn works with producers to ensure safe and economical sales. We also had the chance to see how they class cotton.


One of our last stops of the day was at the Nobile Catfish Farm (http://uscatfish.com/). During this visit, we had the chance to visit with Will Nobile, a third generation catfish farmer. Will gave us a tour of his hatchery and his catfish ponds. During this visit we saw the process of catfish production, starting with eggs masses and resulting in large ponds containing thousands of catfish.



To conclude our day, we spoke with a local Mississippi native, Mike Hurt from Yazzo City, http://cityofyazoocity.org/, who gave us valuable insight on life in the delta. We had the chance to engage in conversations regarding the economy, education systems, and agriculture in the delta. We also had the opportunity to enjoy authentic Mississippi crawfish!



Overall, we had a great day engaging with partners and many agriculture industries across Mississippi. We all gained new insight about Mississippi, which we will be able to implement in our future. We are grateful for all the experiences we shared and are sad to see our #PSUAgEd2MISS trip come to an end.




Submitted by:

Laura Metrick, 2015 Graduate, @Its_LauraBeth

Jenna Timmons, 2016 Student Teacher, @jitimmons

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